Surviving a hurricane – cricketers share their experiences

The roof was ripped off Liam Sebastien's home in Goodwill, Dominica by Hurricane Maria © Liam Sebastien

Cricketers Shane Shillingford and Liam Sebastien (and Viv Richards) talk about living through Hurricane Maria in Dominica, and how cricket helped its own

by NAGRAJ GOLLAPUDI | OCTOBER 16, 2017

On the evening of September 18, Shane Shillingford, the West Indies offspinner, was sitting in his living room with his wife and father, playing board games. Music piped in the background. Outside, the wind was strong and there was some rain too.

Shillingford, who played 16 Tests till 2014, lives in Dublanc village, about a 15-minute drive from Portsmouth in the north-west of the island of Dominica, one in the string of tiny islands in the Caribbean that runs down from Antigua to Trinidad and Tobago in the south, flanked by the Atlantic to the east and the Caribbbean Sea to the west.

August-September is usually hurricane season in the Caribbean. Hurricane Irma had devastated Barbuda, the sister island of Antigua, on September 6. Now Dominica was bracing for Hurricane Maria, but the initial feeling, at least according to Shillingford, was it would not be too bad.

However, Maria went on to be the tenth most intense hurricane in the Atlantic ever. The news bulletins and weather forecasts were for the storm to pass Dominica by, but it shifted course suddenly. “We never thought that the hurricane was coming direct to us,” Shillingford says, speaking to ESPNcricinfo three weeks later.

Four days later: torn roofs and destroyed houses in Dominica © Getty Images
Four days later: torn roofs and destroyed houses in Dominica © Getty Images

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Commonwealth finance ministers urged to change rules to make it easier to access funds

The Meeting in progress (Photo via Commonwealth Secretariat)

In a powerful intervention at the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting (CFMM) in Washington DC, the prime minister of Saint Lucia called for the rules to be changed so countries affected by natural disasters could access funds more quickly.

Over the past few weeks the Caribbean has been battered by three category five hurricanes which have left devastation in their wake. Parts of South Asia have faced floods, leading to hundreds of deaths. In Africa, Commonwealth member states have had to contend with the dual perils of mudslides and desertification.

Speaking after the meeting at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Saint Lucia’s prime minister, Allen Chastanet said, “While we’ve been theorising about the impact of climate change, this summer and other summers previously, we have seen in reality what it means. It requires us to accept the fact that some of our economies are going to be wiped out. We’re having to deal with the reality that our future is not within our control.

“We came here and we’re continuing to plead with the donor agencies that the SIDS (small island developing states) be carved out and that we compartmentalise resilience building and we allow there to be a special fund that we can access, that’s at concessionary rates. Time has run out against us and it requires us to bring the human side back to what has taken place.”

Read more at: The Commonwealth Secretariat

CARICOM and major international private sector company discuss hurricane recovery

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CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell (centre) and Virgin’s founder Sir Richard Branson (right) at the discussion forum on post hurricane recovery and reconstruction in Washington, Friday

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and Founder of of the UK-headquartered Virgin Group of Companies Sir Richard Branson on Friday hosted a Discussion Forum on post hurricane recovery and reconstruction.  The event took place on the margins of this week’s annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington.

Several CARICOM Member States and Associate Members, including Dominica, Antigua/Barbuda, The Bahamas, Anguilla, BVI and Turks and Caicos Islands suffered from the destructive passage of Category Five Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September.  CARICOM has been at the forefront of the post hurricane recovery effort, including helping to coordinate a high-level Donor Conference.   Sir Richard, who has a home on Necker Island in the BVI, has been advocating a ‘Marshall Plan’ type recovery package for the devastated islands.

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Prime Ministers Gaston Browne of Antigua-Barbuda (2nd left) and Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia (3rd right) along with Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (right) among high level participants at the discussions with Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson

 

 

Chairman pushes Region’s message at Washington meetings

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CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell of Grenada (at podium); Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Mr. Allen Chastanet (left) and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on the margins of  the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Washington on Friday.

Message by the CARICOM Secretary-General on Caribbean Statistics Day

MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL,

CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM)

AMBASSADOR IRWIN LAROCQUE

 

ON THE OCCASION OF THE

NINTH OBSERVANCE OF CARIBBEAN STATISTICS DAY

15 OCTOBER 2017

 

 

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

This year’s observance takes place against the background of another significant achievement for Regional Statistics. CARICOM Heads of Government at their Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting (July 2017) endorsed the preparation of a Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS) in CARICOM.  The endorsement of the RSDS initiative is in addition to their endorsement of the Action Plan for Statistics at their Thirty-Seventh Regular Meeting in 2016.

 These decisions on Statistics at the highest level of the Community reaffirm the recognition of the vital role of statistics in the development of the Region.   It is in this spirit that the National Statistical Offices of Member States agreed that the 2016 theme – “Improving the Lives of People – Advancing the Action Plan for Statistics in CARICOM”   should remain as the theme for this year’s observance of Caribbean Statistics Day.

CARICOM countries continue to face increasing demands for statistics that must be timely and reliable.  Evidenced-based decision-making is important in enabling the socio-economic development of countries and for the efficient management and use of resources. In particular, given the environmental concerns faced by CARICOM countries as Small Island and low lying coastal Developing States (SIDS), the timely dissemination of high quality statistics facilitates national policy development, planning and the monitoring and evaluation required for the achievement of successful outcomes. The importance of access to reliable data is a key factor in the recovery and rehabilitation efforts following natural disasters such as the recent Hurricanes Irma and Maria. (more…)